One of the descriptions of a church is a community of friends. Not just Quakers. But every denomination, congregation. So, to belong to a church community is to be ready to come into a commitment to friendship. To be ready to be a friend to others, and befriend yourself more deeply.
The celebration of Matariki coincides with Winter Solstice [June 22nd] which is the seasonal beginning for the European New Year. Both Maori and European cultures share this time.
1 Samuel 16:1-13 is the story of Samuel the prophet, allegedly under instructions from his God, going to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite (and the invisible Mrs Jesse) and choosing a new king from among Mr and Mrs Jesse’s sons (not daughters) while the current king (Saul) was still alive and reigning.
Each of us are formed by stories. They exist in our families. Sometimes they are very sad stories – of suffering, or untimely death, or survival. Sometimes they are very happy stories of romance, of fortune, of people coming together. Sometimes they’re a mix of both. And out of these stories come values and understandings that impact upon the direction of our lives.
Reading the passage on Ezekiel this week annoyed me, because it’s about waiting and being patient. It’s like going to the doctors and the waiting room is full. You look questioningly at the receptionist that said you’ll only be waiting for 10mins. Sitting in a busy traffic on Auckland’s rush hour trying to get home except longer.
It’s funny how one week away, time spent with the kids can accumulate so much in the last week of the month. I struggled this week to find a way to share a sermon this morning from this week’s lectionary and the experiences I have had during the week to steer us in a direction around a theme on love.